The early 2000’s was when Sourav Ganguly was building a new chapter in Indian Crciket. The match fixing fiasco of 99 had shook the cricketing fraternity in India, and we were desperately looking for a leader to drive away the darkness from Indian Cricket. We found one in Sourav, a leader who was gutsy, a leader who was ready to take the fight to the opposition, a leader who was inspirational.
The 2003 World Cup was one of the best campaigns for the Indian team, with every match helping India excavate a new hero. Sourav Ganguly had instilled a lot of belief in this Indian side, and they only fell short because of a superior Australian ODI team.
Ricky Ponting lead Australia’s charge in the final, scoring 150 odd to help hi side romp to a mammoth total of 358.
With the likes of Sourav, Sehwag and Sachin in the side, India would have expected to give Australia a fight, but the scoreboard pressure got the better of them as none of them could muster a big enough score to even come close to that mammoth score of 359.
Times has changed though, scores of 359 no more scare the batsmen. A sluggish start is no more a testament of how the entire innings would turn out, as batsmen these days have the capability of shifting gears at will.
Sachin was recently asked about the final, and very candidly he said that if the match would have been played today, the players would have approached it very differently.
“I feel if we were allowed to play that match today, the players will approach that game differently.”
“We were all charged up, we went out to field and right from over one, it was that big moment, unbelievably charged up. (If the) same players are given an opportunity, we will approach it (that game) differently,” Tendulkar said.
The advent of T20 cricket would make it a little easier as 359 is more considered a ‘herculean task’ is what Sachin had to add.
“Players would have approached differently only because of introduction of T20, in those days 358 looked a herculean task, it will be today as well but it will be closer than 2003,” he said.
“We have also on number of occasions got 325-340 runs and that is because the format has changed, the rules have changed a little bit. The conditions have also changed (than) what we got there, I just feel the mindset has changed because of introduction of T20 and the calculations are different,”
Sachin has actually gone on to state the obvious in this interview, as it’s public knowledge that scores in excess of 300 have sort of become the norm in Cricket.